Commentary: Human decency should trump politics

columnist Rob Port

Will Gardner’s decision to halt his campaign as the Republican candidate for Secretary of State has revealed a lot of ugliness in North Dakota’s political circles.

Gardner, for those of you who don’t know, was convicted of a disorderly conduct charge in 2006. His crime was sneaking around outside of a female dorm peeking into windows. According to one law enforcement officer responding to the incident, Gardner had his pants undone and his shirt untucked. He’d also taken off his belt and left it on the seat of his vehicle along with his wallet.

Those latter precautions might give us cause to wonder if the incident he was arrested for perhaps wasn’t his first experience with non-consensual voyeurism. Perhaps Gardner knew, from experience, that when you drop your pants your wallet can fall out of your pocket.

Anyway, Gardner is out of the race now, but some Republicans in the state persist in defending him.

Case in point: conservative talk radio host Scott Hennen. During a recent episode of his show, Hennen wondered if the women Gardner spied on hadn’t been inviting his gaze by not completely closing their blinds or curtains. He also brought up the sexual orientation of Josh Boschee, the Democratic candidate for Secretary of State who is openly gay, suggesting that it’s “sinful” just as Gardner’s unwanted…

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